James Madison University

Mission and Overview


We strive to provide educational and technical opportunities, support, and resources to foster the advancement of sustainable energy in Virginia.


The CWE focuses on research, education, and outreach to advance wind energy deployment.

We focus on research projects with national, regional, and local implications, and are performed with the assistance of undergraduate and graduate students. Examples of research projects include:

  • Small and community-scale project siting
  • MET tower data analysis
  • Turbine comparisons
  • Economic development studies
  • Data acquisition and sharing
  • GIS mapping

Our educational efforts reach a wide range of audiences including K-12 students and educators, undergraduates, and post-graduates. Activities include:

  • Training workshops for educators and installers
  • K-12 classroom visits
  • Curriculum development
  • Dissemination of resources
  • Maintaining a library of resources for loan
  • Hosting the annual Virginia KidWind Challenges

Our outreach efforts aim to create a more educated and aware citizen base in Virginia, including local planners, county officials, the JMU community, and the general public. We focus on:

  • Participating in community events, festivals, and conferences
  • Ordinance development
  • Hosting a Biennial Wind Symposium at JMU
  • Hosting wind facility tours and land-use workshops
  • Providing online resources and networking opportunities
  • Leading the Women of Wind Energy Virginia Chapter

View our major milestones.


The Center has an off-campus suite of offices at Technology Drive where meetings are held, and where the Center inventory of outreach and educational resources are kept. Also at this site, the Center maintains a ~ 4,000 square foot research laboratory area, the “high bay.” It is home to meteorological tower equipment (including two SoDAR units), a Russell's Technical Products environmental chamber, a K.H. Steuernagel Solar Simulation System, an array of infrared imaging and detection equipment, wind tunnels used for educational purposes, and various systems that support instrumentation, measurement, and testing. Residential scale and model turbine displays are also housed in this space.

On campus, the CWE maintains the Small Wind Training and Testing Facility (SWTTF). In June 2010 the Commonwealth awarded $800,000 to JMU to develop a Small Wind Training and Testing Facility. This facility is now open and available to the public. It will provide a platform for training on siting, safety, installation, and operations in a live and realistic outdoor environment (see our Workforce Training page for more information)and will also provide a test bed for studying and certifying new small wind technologies (see our Testing page for more information).

In addition the CWE maintains a small dedicated laboratory in the ISAT building on the JMU campus that serves primarily undergraduate and graduate students and is equipped with workstations used for wind analysis. These workstations are equipped with industry-standard modeling and analysis software packages including Windographer, Garrad Hassan's Wind Farmer, WaSP, and GIS (ArcGIS).